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By Athenkosi Tsotsi

Sports Reporter

Sharks’ chance to pick up second win in URC season against limping Lions

'The tide appears to be changing at the Sharks; the team are getting to grips with coach John Plumtree’s game-plan.'

The Sharks will be keen to pick up a much-needed win and to start building momentum ahead of the resumption of the Challenge Cup in a few weeks’ time when they take on the Lions in a United Rugby Championship match at Ellis Park (3pm) on Saturday.

The Durban-based side will play three URC matches before they take on Italian side Zebre in the last 16 of the Challenge Cup at home, with the match against the Lions followed by clashes against Ulster and Edinburgh, both at Durban’s Kings Park.

These three games serve as preparation for the Challenge Cup clash with Zebre, which is vital for the Sharks’ aspirations of going all the way in the competition. Going into the match with players that are confident and have momentum will help the Sharks.

The URC has been written off by the Sharks, who are down in 16th place on the log with just one win in 10 matches.

Limping Lions

They’ll thus go into their showdown with the Lions with everyone expecting them to again lose, so all the pressure will be on the Lions, who themselves have some big goals; they’ll want to move up the points table from 11th place and get into the top eight.

The Lions are also limping having lost four games on the spin. The weight of expectation is weighing heavily on the shoulders of this young Lions team, and that’s something the Sharks can use to their advantage.

Tide changing for the Sharks

Though the Sharks lost last time out against the Stormers, it was not a one-sided defeat compared to some of their other losses so they’ll be fairly confident going into the match in Joburg.

The tide appears to be changing at the Sharks; the team are getting to grip with coach John Plumtree’s game-plan, while a number of formerly injured players are also set to return to action this week.

The team have been edging closer to giving an 80-minute performance, and perhaps it comes against the Lions, where a win will go a long way in giving the players and coach a boost ahead of the remainder of the rugby season.

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